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Chinese2/10/2019English
經文:出埃及記十八章
鑰節:「現在你要聽我的話,我為你出個主意,願上帝與你同在。你要替百姓到上帝面前,將案件奏告上帝。」(18:19)
提要

         以色列人得勝埃及的消息,在周圍的國家中傳開了。摩西在米甸的岳父葉忒羅也風聞此事,便前來找摩西,想知道更多詳情,一方面也讓摩西和分開數月的太太和兩個兒子團聚。摩西似乎在為他兒子行了割禮後(出4:24~26)就打發他們回去,因為他可能意識到前面有重重危險,而怕他們會妨礙了他的任務。

        摩西雖是個偉大的先知和領袖,但他非常尊敬自己的岳父,在他面前謙卑下拜。亞伯拉罕從基土拉(創25:1~2)所生的後裔葉忒羅是個敬虔的人,他雖然是外邦人,但也敬拜獨一永活的真神。摩西受他的影響有四十年之久,葉忒羅聽見在埃及所發生的一切事,及上帝救贖以色列人的美德,就與摩西一同喜樂。當我們看到別人親身經歷上帝的救恩,以及當我們聽其他信徒述說上帝的美善,我們就應讚美上帝並與人一同喜樂。與人一起分享上帝的美德是討上帝喜悅的事,它有助於彼此建造,彼此鼓勵。就像葉忒羅,當摩西與他談論上帝的恩典(18:11),他的信心就得到堅固。我們與不信的人分享我們所得到的救恩也很重要,他們聽了就很可能也會相信主。

        由於以色列人的祭司制度尚未建立,米甸的祭司葉忒羅就領導他們(可能還鼓動他們)獻祭敬拜上帝,然後又與摩西、亞倫和眾長老一起吃飯──我們可以假定是嗎哪;葉忒羅一面吃著嗎哪,一面就真的「嘗了主恩的滋味」而知道祂是美善(詩34:8)。上帝歡迎外邦人葉忒羅與那許多「閒雜人」(12:38)來同享祂的祝福,每一個願意來到主面前的人也都能得到上帝的祝福。葉忒羅與他們「在上帝面前」(18:12)一同吃飯,由此我們可知那是一頓以上帝為中心、聖潔的宴席。桌旁的交通是一個榮耀上帝的好機會,只要我們的交談以祂為中心,並談論祂「奇妙的作為」(詩105:2)。當然,我們所做的一切都應榮耀上帝,不只因為祂眼目一直在我們身上,而是出於我們對祂的愛和想要討祂喜悅的欲望。

        上帝使用葉忒羅給摩西一個重要且有智慧的建議。葉忒羅是個敬虔的人,他以「若……上帝也這樣吩咐你」(18:23)為接受他建議的先決條件。任何事若不是上帝的旨意就不應去做,摩西可能求問了上帝,並得到「去做」的指示,而聽從葉忒羅的建議。智慧的領袖,能聽取其他靈命成熟領袖的意見。在古代閃族部落堙A領袖通常也扮演法官的角色(參撒上7:15~17),但摩西一個人獨自擔此重責大任,對他而言顯然是太疲倦了。因為摩西是屬靈領袖,所以葉忒羅建議他應多花時間禱告(18:19是鑰節),尋求領導這群百姓所需的智慧。藉著指派合格的人代他作法官,摩西便能鬆一口氣,去承擔更重大的責任,今天有許多牧師和教會的領袖也需要效法摩西的榜樣。

        摩西錘鍊一套幾近完美的上下法院制度,以色列人沿用了幾世紀之久。摩西親自挑選判官,因為以色列人的表現,證明他們並不合適為自己作決定。那些官長首先要來接受摩西的訓練,使他們知道上帝的律例、法度,以及在上帝面前走正路(18:20)。其次,他們的資格必須符合一定的標準:他們必須是有才能的人,有聰明、智慧,敬畏上帝,愛真理、恨貪婪。這是必需的條件,因為在上有權柄的人若收受賄賂,公理正義往往也跟著墮落不彰。

禱告

        謝謝您使用一個非以色列人,葉忒羅,來表明您對所有人的愛。上帝啊,求您向全世界、全人類啟示您自己。奉主耶穌基督聖名,阿們!

English

Scriptures:Read Exodus 18
Key Verse:“Listen now to my voice; I will give you counsel, and God will be with you: Stand before God for the people, so that you may bring the difficulties to God.”(Exodus 18:19 )
Overview

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         The news of Israel’s triumph over the Egyptians spread to the surrounding nations. Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law in Midian, heard of it and came to hear more details and to reunite Moses with his wife and two sons after being apart for several months. It seems Moses had sent them back after the circumcision of his son (Exodus 4:24-26) for he may have sensed danger ahead and felt they may have been a hindrance to his mission.

         Moses, though a great prophet and leader, humbly bowed before his father-in-law for whom he showed much respect. Jethro, a descendant of Abraham through Katurah (Gen. 25:1-2), was a godly man, and although a Gentile he worshipped the One true and living God. For forty years, Moses had lived under his godly influence. He rejoiced with Moses upon hearing of all that happened in Egypt and the goodness of God in delivering Israel. When we see people come to experience the Lord’s salvation and when other believers tell of God’s goodness, we should give praise to God and rejoice with them. Sharing God’s goodness together is pleasing to the Lord. It helps to edify and encourage one another, like Jethro, whose faith was strengthened when Moses talked with him of God’s goodness (18:11). It is also important to share our salvation with unbelievers, for in hearing, they too may come to believe.

         Since the priesthood of Israel had not yet been established, Jethro, a Gentile priest in Midian, led and possibly instigated the offering of a sacrifice in worship to the Lord. Then, along with Moses, Aaron and the elders, he ate of the “bread”. Which we may assume was manna. In eating it, Jethro could literally “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8). He, as a Gentile along with the “mixed multitude” (12:38), was welcomed to share in the blessings of the Lord which are available to everyone who will come unto Him. Jethro shared this blessed bread with them “before God” (18:12) and as such we know it was a sanctified, God-centered feast. Fellowship around the table gives opportunity for glorifying God as we centre our conversation on Him and “all His wondrous works: (Psalm 105:2). Of course, all we do should glorify God, not just because His eye is always on us, but out of love for Him and a desire to please Him.

         God used Jethro to give very important and wise advice to Moses. Being a godly man, he conditioned his suggestion: “if… God so commands you” (18:23). Nothing should be done out of the will of God. It may be assumed that Moses inquired of the Lord and had the go-ahead to act upon the advise of Jethro. The wise leader is one who will take counsel from other spiritually mature elders. It was common among the ancient semitic tribes that the leader also be the fudge (cf. 1 Samuel 7:15-17), but for Moses it was clear that it was too exhausting for him alone to carry this great responsibility. Because Moses was the spiritual leader, Jethro suggested he spend his time more in prayer (18:19 – key verse) for the wisdom needed to lead such a people. With the delegation of qualified, trained men to act as judges, Moses was relieved for greater and more essential duties. Some pastors and other church leaders today need to follow Moses’ example.

         Moses perfected an organized system of higher and lower courts which was used by Israel for centuries to come. Moses himself chose the judges, for the children of Israel had proven they were unfit to decide for themselves. The magistrates were required to first come under the training of Moses that they might know the statutes and laws of God and walk upright before Him (18:20). Secondly, their personal qualifications had to meet a certain standard: they were to be “able men”, wise, intelligent, having the fear of God, and only those who loved truth and hated covetousness. This was necessary, for justice is often corrupted when those in authority take bribes.

Prayer

         Thank You for using Jethro, anon-Israelite, to show Your love for all people. Reveal Yourself, O God, all over the world, to all people.


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